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Submission + - Surface Book/Pro 4 firmware update causes more problems than it solves

dublin writes: Many Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book owners are suffering far worse power management issues after last week's (Feb 17th) firmware "upgrade" than they experienced before it. Although Microsoft took the unusual step of releasing an apology for these problems in December, it took them until the 17th to release any kind of a fix, and now that fix is making things worse for a lot of users.

Check out the Surface forums, but especially http://answers.microsoft.com/e...

That link will take you to page 71 of the complaints, which corresponds to the 2/17 date of the latest firmware release that was supposed to fix all this. Scan through the next few dozen pages (we're up to around 90 now), and you'll see that not only did the fix not work, it made things a lot worse for many people. (I cannot rely on my SP4 to wake at all after the update...)

Microsoft is sweeping this under the rug, and not acknowledging that the SP4/SB cannot even deliver on the basic sleep/wake capabilities of 20 years ago, let alone do so with the promised greatly improved battery life: (See image at: http://fud.community.services....)

In the meantime, thousands of users are left with computers that they cannot even use to do their daily work, and Microsoft remains silent about the debacle.

To be fair, I now think this is more Intel's problem then Microsoft's — it appears that the Skylake hardware is fatally flawed, and Intel and Microsoft are trying in vain to patch around the flaws with firmware, drivers, and software. As Dennis Miller says, "That's just my opinion — I could be wrong..." (but I'm afraid I'm not...)

Submission + - Ads to Invade Shapchat Soon, CEO Confirms (pcmag.com)

mpicpp writes: Since its inception, Shapchat has been free of advertisements. But like it or not, that's about to change.
Speaking at a San Francisco conference on Wednesday, the startup's 24-year-old cofounder and chief executive Evan Spiegel said that ads are imminent. The ads will show up in the Snapchat Stories feature, in between photos and videos users have shared, The Wall Street Journal reported. At this point, they will not be targeted to users based on their interests.

Spiegel suggested that the ads won't be too disruptive to users.

"They're not fancy. You just look at it if you want to look at it, and you don't if you don't," Spiegel said at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit, according to the Journal.

This will be the first source of revenue for Snapchat, which launched three years ago and was recently valued at $10 billion by investors. Users might not be thrilled with the idea of ads, but they could mean money in the bank for Snapchat and allow it to demonstrate its value to investors.

Submission + - The Weird Cell Phones Of 2004 (itworld.com)

jfruh writes: 2014 may be the golden age of smartphones, as handset companies have a handle on what people want and are selling it to them by the million. Ten years ago, though, the landscape was weirder and more interesting, with a host of Asian handset manufacturers trying to one up each other on new and sometimes bizarre features. Offerings ranged from the ahead-of-their-times (TV on your phone ... via a satellite connection) to the laughable (a phone you could hold against your forehead to take your temperature).

Submission + - Where do lithium, beryllium and boron come from?

StartsWithABang writes: You've all learned about the periodic table of the elements: the 92 naturally occurring atoms (and their isotopes) found in the Solar System, plus some man-made ones that we've created here on Earth. If we look at how these elements came to be, though, the lightest ones come to us from the Big Bang, while all the atoms that are carbon-and-heavier come from the insides of stars. But the elements in between helium and carbon are actually destroyed by stars, and yet they exist in quite significant abundance here on Earth. Where do they come from? Surprisingly, black holes and cosmic rays play a huge role!

Submission + - Apple Demands $40 Per Samsung Phone For 5 Software Patents 1

An anonymous reader writes: Apple and Samsung couldn't agree on a patent cross-license even though their CEOs met recently. What could be the reason (or one of the reasons) is that Apple is asking for obscenely high patent royalties. At the March 31 trial an Apple-hired expert will present to a California jury (already the third jury trial in this dispute) a damages claim of $40 per device (phone or tablet) for just a handful of software patents. The patents are related to, but don't cover all aspects and elements of, functionalities like slide-to-unlock, autocorrect, data synchronization, unified search and the famous tap-on-phone-number-to-dial feature. Google says there are 250,000 patentable inventions in a smartphone. On average, Apple wants $8 per patent per device. That would add a patent licensing bill of $2 million to each gadget. So Apple and Samsung will be back to court again later this month.

Submission + - Embarrassing stories shed light on U.S. officials' technological ignorance (networkworld.com)

colinneagle writes: Speaking at the SXSW Conference recently, Dr. Peter W. Singer, director of the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence, recalled one U.S. official who was "about to negotiate cybersecurity with China" asking him to explain what the term "ISP" (Internet Service Provider) means. This wasn't the only example of this lack of awareness.

"That’s like going to negotiate with the Soviets and not knowing what ‘ICBM’ means," Dr. Singer said. "And I’ve had similar experiences with officials from the UK, China and Abu Dhabi."

Similarly, Dr. Singer recalled one account in which Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of the U.S. Homeland Security Department from 2009 to 2013, admitted that she didn't use email "because she just didn’t think it was useful."

"A Supreme Court justice also told me ‘I haven’t got round to email yet’ — and this is someone who will get to vote on everything from net neutrality to the NSA negotiations," Dr. Singer said.

Submission + - /. Beta comments don't work, users upset. (slashdot.org) 4

magic maverick writes: Since the new /. Beta came to light, many /. users and commentators have tried it out. However, they are almost universally condemning the new commenting system. It simply isn't as good as the so called Classic system. Some users, however, haven't a bad thing to say. Mainly because they haven't had a chance to even use the new system. It simply doesn't load. One user, Magic Maverick , who lives in a third-world country with crappy Internet, had this to say:

I come to /. for the comments, but with the new Beta, I can't even see anything! It just says:

''Shazbot! We ran into some trouble getting the comments. Try again... na-nu, na-nu!

It seems like the "developers" need to take some advice from people who actually know what they are doing. I'm happy to help explain what graceful degradation means if they like...


Submission + - Dice Holdings, Inc, deleting unflattering stories from Slashdot firehose 4

An anonymous reader writes: Stories submitted to the Slashdot firehose that take a negative view on the site's redesign are being deleted. 4 hours ago, it was full of anti-beta posts. Now they are gone. That's right. A forum that usually leaves V14GRA spam in place for posterity is deleting user content.

Submission + - Boycott Beta 2

An anonymous reader writes: On February 5, 2014, Slashdot announced through a javascript popup that they are starting to "move in to" the new Slashdot Beta design.

Slashdot Beta is a trend-following attempt to give Slashdot a fresh look, an approach that has led to less space for text and an abandonment of the traditional Slashdot look. Much worse than that, Slashdot Beta fundamentally breaks the classic Slashdot discussion and moderation system.

If you haven't seen Slashdot Beta already, open this in a new tab. After seeing that, click here to return to classic Slashdot.

We should boycott stories and only discuss the abomination that is Slashdot Beta until Dice abandons the project.
We should boycott slashdot entirely during the week of Feb 10 to Feb 17 as part of the wider slashcott

Moderators — only spend mod points on comments that discuss Beta
Commentors — only discuss Beta
http://slashdot.org/recent [slashdot.org] [slashdot.org] — Vote up the Fuck Beta stories

Keep this up for a few days and we may finally get the PHBs attention.

Captcha: fuckbeta

http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=4757125&cid=46169357
http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=4757125&cid=46169451
http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=4757045&cid=46168351
http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=4756947&cid=46167453

Submission + - I am Slashdot 1

OzPeter writes: I submit stories. I read stories. I add comments. I moderate comments. I am the reason that there is ad revenue.

I am Slashdot.

(please propagate the "I am Slashdot" meme in anyway you can)

Submission + - /. Goes down in flame war 5

An anonymous reader writes: Slashdot users flame all site stories with comments about the sites forced switching over to Beta version. The comments are relentless, calling for a ban of the site from Feb 10 to Feb 17. The following post is being made in every story comment:
On February 5, 2014, Slashdot announced through a javascript popup that they are starting to "move in to" the new Slashdot Beta design.
Slashdot Beta is a trend-following attempt to give Slashdot a fresh look, an approach that has led to less space for text and an abandonment of the traditional Slashdot look. Much worse than that, Slashdot Beta fundamentally breaks the classic Slashdot discussion and moderation system.
If you haven't seen Slashdot Beta already, open this [slashdot.org] in a new tab. After seeing that, click here [slashdot.org] to return to classic Slashdot.
We should boycott stories and only discuss the abomination that is Slashdot Beta until Dice abandons the project.
We should boycott slashdot entirely during the week of Feb 10 to Feb 17 as part of the wider slashcott [slashdot.org]
Moderators — only spend mod points on comments that discuss Beta
Commentors — only discuss Beta
http://slashdot.org/recent [slashdot.org] — Vote up the Fuck Beta stories
Keep this up for a few days and we may finally get the PHBs attention.
Captcha: fuckbeta

Submission + - Alternatives to Slashdot post beta? 8

An anonymous reader writes: Like many Slashdotters, I intend to stop visiting Slashdot after the beta changeover. After years of steady decline in the quality of discussions here, the beta will be the last straw. What sites alternative to Slashdot have others found? The best I have found has been arstechnica.com, but it has been a while since I've looked for tech discussion sites.

Submission + - Slashdot BETA Discussion (slashdot.org) 60

mugnyte writes: With Slashdot's recent restyled "BETA" slowly rolled to most users, there's been a lot of griping about the changes. This is nothing new, as past style changes have had similar effects. However, this pass there are significant usability changes: A narrower read pane, limited moderation filtering, and several color/size/font adjustments. BETA implies not yet complete, so taking that cue — please list your specific, detailed opinoins, one per comment, and let's use the best part of slashdot (the moderation system) to raise the attention to these. Change can be jarring, but let's focus on the true usability differences with the new style.

Submission + - Owner: Vote, your choice: Get rid of Slashdot:Beta OR everyone goes elsewhere (slashdot.org) 1

Ying Hu writes: Slashdot Beta is not Slashdot: http://slashdot.org/journal/63...
What was loved about Slashdot does not appear in the new design — those creating the latter, please fire yourself and go work for a commercial consumer site (which we never read, and never will). OUR site should work without JavaScript, and JavaScript that IS used should to do something actually desired by a reader or commenter, not waste our bandwidth and CPU, and electricity, sending CRAP onto our computers. Improvements/ plugins, http://userstyles.org/styles/9..., won't be enough.

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